Meetings will focus on operation of San Juan Mine
Bloomfield council takes up issue of yard sign sales
- The Farmington City Council will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Farmington City Hall, 800 N. Municipal Drive.
- The Bloomfield City Council will meet at 6 p.m. Monday at Bloomfield City Hall, 915 N. 1st St.
- The Aztec City Commission will have a work session at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at Aztec City Hall, 201 W. Chaco St.
FARMINGTON — The Farmington City Council will hear a presentation about a federal draft environmental impact statement for a proposed modification to the operation of the San Juan Mine.
The council will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Farmington City Hall, 800 N. Municipal Drive. The meeting can be viewed online at fmtn.org.
According to the draft EIS, the San Juan Mine Deep Lease Extension Mining Plan Modification would allow the San Juan Coal Company to perform underground longwall mining to supply about 3 million tons of coal annually to the San Juan Generating Station.
The Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, a branch of the U.S. Department of the Interior, is accepting public comment on the plan through July 9.
The mine has been open since 1973, but its operation has changed over time. Initially, coal was extracted from an open-pit mine. In 2002, it transitioned to an underground mine.
The deep lease extension was first granted in 2008, but was protested by the environmental activism group Wild Earth Guardians, which filed a lawsuit alleging lack of transparency in the lease-extension process. The new draft EIS comes as a result of that lawsuit.
There will also be public comment meetings in various locations throughout the week.
The first public comment meeting will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Monday at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center at 2401 12th St. NW in Albuquerque.
Local residents can offer comments from 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Farmington Civic Center at 200 West Arrington St.
The other three public comment hearings will be:
- 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Ute Community Center at 785 Sunset Blvd. in Towaoc, Colorado.
- 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Shiprock High School, approximately a half-mile west on U.S. Highway 64 from the junction with U.S. Highway 491.
- 4 to 7 p.m. Friday at the Durango Community Recreation Center at 2700 Main Ave. in Durango, Colorado.
Comments also can be submitted by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line "San Juan EIS Comments."
Written comments can be mailed to Gretchen Pinkham, OSMRE C/O Catalyst Environmental Solutions P.O. Box 56539 Sherman Oaks, CA 91413.
Paper copies of the draft EIS can be found at the Bureau of Land Management's Farmington Field Office; the Navajo Nation Library in Window Rock, Arizona; the Cortez and Durango public libraries in Colorado, and the Farmington Public Library.
Bloomfield will discuss clutter caused by yard sale signs
The Bloomfield City Council will consider reducing the length of time yard sale signs can be displayed within city limits.
Current law allows yard sale signs to be displayed 24 hours before the sale, three days during the sale and 48 hours after the sale. According to a memo in the council agenda packet, that amounts to six days, or 144 hours.
The signs are often posted on cardboard boxes placed on medians or near sidewalks. Rocks often are placed inside the cardboard boxes to keep them from blowing away.
The memo states that the signs often are not removed after a sale.
City Manager George Duncan is proposing reducing the amount of time the signs can be displayed and prohibiting the display of signs on city or state rights of way.
The Bloomfield City Council will meet at 6 p.m. Monday at Bloomfield City Hall, 915 N. 1st St.
The meeting will begin with a special presentation by Guillermo DeHerrera, oil and gas administration director for the Jicarilla Apache Nation. DeHerrera will discuss the Largo Canyon Water Shed Study that the nation is planning. According to the nation’s request for funding from the state, the study will help address problems with erosion and road damage.
The watershed study will identify areas on the Jicarilla Apache Nation that are prone to erosion during storms. The study will include about 500,000 acres, including mountains east of the reservation in the Lindrith area.
The City Council will have a closed session at the end of its meeting. It will discuss the city's lawsuit against the city of Farmington that aims to establish Bloomfield’s right to purchase electric utility infrastructure from Farmington.
Kirtland and Aztec also will meet
The Kirtland Town Council meets at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday at Kirtland Town Hall, 47 County Road 6500. The council will discuss its July meeting schedule, as well as participation in Leadership San Juan, a San Juan College community leadership program.
The Aztec City Commission will have a work session at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at Aztec City Hall, 201 W. Chaco St., to discuss the possible implementation of curbside recycling. The work session will be followed by the regular commission meeting, which can be viewed live on the city’s YouTube channel.